Friday, December 07, 2007

Not in Britain, too ...

... How to Teach Poetry.

Why teach poetry, you may wonder. Because, as Heidegger - in one of his more lucid moments - observed, it is the essential form of speech. A great poem is an exceptionally precise form of discourse, which is why great poems have such depth and resonance. To borrow a phrase from Alan Watts, they are like pebbles dropped into the well of the mind. One is not really civilized if one is not familiar - and I mean familiar - with poetry. (I must add, though, that while Bryan's recommendations are all excellent, I think "The Listeners" and even "The Highwayman" are not bad poems at all.)

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